DEET Alternative: Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Summer brings a lot of enjoyable things: barbeques, pool parties, farmer’s markets and fresh flowers. But all those great outdoor activies have a not so enjoyable dark side: mosquitos. While it might seem that the only effective way to battle the bugs is with harsh chemicals, the Center for Disease Control recently determined that there’s an all-natural alternative that can deter mosquitos just as well as DEET: lemon eucalyptus oil.

Until this recent study DEET was the only mosquito repellent reccomended by the CDC. The study found that when the oil of lemon eucalyptus was used against mosquitoes found in the US, it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is plant-based repellent oil made from leaves of Eucalyptus citriodora.

While you could try a lemon eucalyptus oil candle, oil dropper or reed diffuser, companies, such as Repel, are already including the ingredient in their repellents as a natural alternative to DEET — look for the active ingredient listed as ‘p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)’.

Find out more info at the CDC: Insect Repellent Use and Safety

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(Image: Flickr member kainet licensed for use under Creative Commons)